While moto jackets are an on-trend fashion statement for women, this garment is as functional as it is stylish. Choosing the right motorcycle jacket can protect you from sun, debris and abrasions when you’re riding on a street bike or ATV. Follow this advice so you’ll have the ideal jacket when it comes time for those spring rides.

Material

Most sport bike jackets are made from leather. Look for competition-weight styles, which are breathable, soft, comfortable and durable enough to last a lifetime. The fabric should be at least 1.4 millimeters thick to absorb friction and prevent abrasions in a fall. However, leather jackets aren’t waterproof and may be too hot if the temperature rises above 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Consider vegan leather motorcycle jackets if you prefer not to use animal products. Avoid faux leather and PVC, which might look like leather but provide little protection for your body. Instead, go with a durable coated canvas. This fabric is designed to absorb shock and resist abrasions for a safer ride.

Some of the best cruiser jackets for women this year are made from storm-proof Gore-Tex to keep rain and snow away from your body.┬áSynthetic jackets made from a combination of nylon and Kevlar are more affordable, friction-resistant and easy to clean. However, these styles won’t last as long as leather. Regardless of the fabric you choose, look for a style with hidden seams to prevent abrasions in an accident.

Fit

Motorcycle jackets should be form-fitting but not too tight. Avoid sizing up so you can wear layers under your jacket, since most styles are already designed to accommodation thick shirts underneath. Heated vests and liners for leather jackets can improve their warmth retention so you can extend wear through four seasons. Over time, leather tends to conform to your natural shape.

Safety Features

While a black motorcycle jacket is the classic choice, it reduces your visibility if you frequently ride at night and during inclement weather. Even when the sun is out, a bright-colored jacket will make it easier for motorists to see you. Alternatively, you can select a black jacket with reflective panels that improve visibility. Sports bike jackets often have this feature.

Leather jackets that contain a CE or A5 mark are certified to meet European and/or American safety standards. They have been tested for resistance against bursting, burning, punctures and abrasions. You can also look for styles with Kevlar body armor to provide added protection from a crash. Typically, this reinforced material covers the elbows, shoulders and back.

Quality

When you’re investing in a jacket, check to make sure it is well-made and will last for years. Test the zipper to make sure it does not get stuck and glides smoothly. Make sure it zips all the way to the collar. Seams should be triple-stitched and should not move when you attempt to pull them apart.

Whether you’re shopping for ATV jackets on sale or classic moto styles, considering these factors will help you find the best jacket for every ride. Follow the manufacturer care instructions for your motorcycle jacket to keep it looking great throughout all your adventures.